"I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have given me life." Psalm 119:93
Text: Exodus 24 : 4
THE ORAL WORD
Abraham received an oral word from the Lord! We may safely presume that he passed on to his son Isaac all that he had received from the Lord! In turn, from one generation to another, oral tradition was the norm! It was very effective too.
Why wasn’t there the need to preserve the precious truths communicated from the Lord? Several reasons may be offered:-
1. Oral transmission had proven to be very effective
This being the case, the need to actually write down family traditions (even if they contained great religious themes), was not greatly felt! This practice was adopted by the ancients!
2. The method of Oral Transmission
How safe was this method? Actually, quite safe! Fathers and mothers would repeat family traditions to their children, almost daily! Children were probably told to recite what they had learned! This approach certainly worked so well, that culture from the ancient past has been remarkably preserved.
3. The amount of material to be transmitted was fairly small
The tradition of oral transmission was not all that difficult, especially when the amount of knowledge that was to be passed down was relatively small!
4. Other benefits
When the family is committed to keeping their faith, culture etc alive by talking about them frequently, great blessings were experienced! The family unit was that much stronger because of being with each other regularly!
THE WRITTEN WORD
There came a time when oral transmission became more and more challenging. God had given a whole lot of instruction to be transmitted to Israel! Of necessity, the word given by the LORD had to be written down. Moses felt a tremendous need to put all that he had heard from the Lord into writing.
“And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD.”
The written word did not cancel out the method of “oral transmission”. The written word added great strength to an orally transmitted faith! Two thoughts may be further highlighted!
1. For reference purposes
The written word would become the mainstay of reference work!
2. For Enhancement purposes
Oral traditions would become even more enhanced because of the written word!